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Derek Poindexter

Derek K. Poindexter, age 52, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, May 15, 2017 at the Cleveland Clinic while awaiting a double lung transplant. Derek was born in Philadelphia, Pa. to Donald Poindexter and the late Montez Webster Poindexter.

Derek grew up in Philadelphia, Pa. He graduated from Walbrook High School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1982. After high school, Derek attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. where he studied mechanical engineering for two years.   Derek then attended Cheyney University of Pennsylvania where he studied music merchandising. At Cheyney Derek played the tuba in the Marching and Concert bands, guitar in the Jazz and Pep bands and was a tenor in the Choir. Derek graduated from Cheyney in 1988. He then attended the University of Akron where he received a Master’s Degree in Music Education in 1990.

After graduating from the University of Akron, Derek decided to stay in Northeast Ohio and moved to Cleveland where in 1991 he became the bass player for The Waynes. Derek has been fortunate to be in several bands such as Pleasure Void, Plasma, Mercury Rising, Pale Hollow, Lucky Numbers, Witch Disco, The Really Big Show Band, Blackgrass Baptism, Ms. Butterscotch and the Bonafide Blues Band, Serlin Spur, Popoisehead and The Avenue to name a few.

Derek was also involved in several musicals such as Tony and Tina’s Wedding, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Carousel Dinner Theatre’s production of Beehive where Derek met his wife Danielle Garner Poindexter. Derek and Danielle were married on May 16, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Derek worked as an adjunct professor at Cuyahoga Community College in the Music Department and was in charge of transportation for the artist during the Tri-C Jazz Festivals. Derek also worked as a videographer/editor for Case Western Reserve University. Derek had a strong faith and love of God and could be found on Sunday morning’s playing bass for Elevate North and New City, Unity of Medina Ohio and Richmond Heights Church of the Nazarene where he was a member of the worship team.

Derek is survived by his wife, Danielle; his fur daughter, Cami Marie Poindexter; his father, Donald Poindexter; brothers, Darryl and Dwayne Poindexter; niece, Danielle “Dani” Poindexter; aunts, Pinkie Daniels and Norma Webster; uncle, William “Buster” Webster; in-laws, James and Lenora Garner, Sr., Mona Williams, and James Garner, Jr.; and numerous cousins and other relatives.

Derek was preceded in death by his mother, Montez Webster Poindexter and uncle, Pinkney Webster.

A funeral service will be held at Richmond Heights Church of the Nazarene, 499 Trebisky Road, Richmond Heights, Oh 44143 at 12:00pm, May 22, 2017. A visitation will be held at Richmond Heights Church of the Nazarene, 499 Trebisky Road, Richmond Heights, Oh 44143 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm, May 21, 2017. Burial will follow the funeral at Lake View Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being handled by DeJohn Funeral Homes and Crematory.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to GoFundMe;

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Condolence Messages

  1. Samantha Schartman-Cycyk (Tellers) :

    The Schartman-Cycyk family send our deepest condolences to Danielle and the entire Poindexter family. We will never forget how Derek touched our lives and those around him. His departure came far too soon but we know his spirit will play on through those with which he shared his rare talents.


    To the Danielle, Mr Pointdexter, Family ,Musical Family & Friends of Derek;
    We, Leonard Richardson, Fred Motley, Stephan Brown , Nick Williams & Rhonda Lancaster Derek’s Philly Musical Family, send our deepest Sympathies at this time. While we are not able to attend, We are there in Spirit with you.

    Derek went to Temple University & community College of Philadelphia with a few of us, and was involved wholeheartedly in music. I met Derek @Community College in 1983, and played with him in Big Band, and on what became the forerunner for “In house college TV ” performing on the weekly series “Live on Fridays” . Derek was a celebrity at the college because he had a steinberger bass, which was a sought after, top of the line bass guitar at that time, and he played it well.We patterned ourselves after The David Letterman Show’s house band and Derek , along with Leonard Richardson would alternate bass spots for the show. Derek was persistent, and he was going to get it done when it came to music he was a quick study on bass, and it was nothing for him to write a chart for a song, a skill that is an art.
    One time at his Dads house in West Mt Airy here in Philadelphia, Derek was having a few of us over to see the VCR tape( yes its that old )of Prince’s Purple Rain, the hottest thing around at the time. Well i wasn’t able to make it, and Derek called me at 11:30 at night to wake me up to insist he come get me to see Princes New Movie. When we got to the house, he started the film from the beginning to the dismay of the others who had seen over half the movie. That was Derek- he was persistent , he was going to get it done and include everybody!
    He rooted for all of us at Community College to pursue, what ever we wanted to do.For me it was a professional career in music.Any chance we had- he always wanted to go over songs, not just for him ,but for others to get it right. He left an indelible mark on all us, his college buddies and we will never forget him.

    Rest Well Derek!

    Leonard Richardson- Bass
    Fred Motley- Sax
    Nick Williams- Guitar
    Stephan Brown- Guitar
    Rhonda Lancaster- Keyboards & CCP music Family

  3. Evelyn J Anderson :

    You are truly going to be missed. There will never be another person quite like you . I know you are in Heaven playing your Bass Guitar and smiling down on us. Play on my brother until we meet again.

  4. Steve Selpal :

    My condolences to Danielle and and all of Derek’s family! God loved Derek! My role in Derek’s life was that I was a fan of his and he was a fan of mine. He truly liked what I was doing for the music business and bands in Cleveland and he said so to me on many occasions. I was only a graphic designer doing record albums artworks at the time when CD-Rom format was introduced. I was an exhibiting artist painter in the Cleveland gallery art scene, full time employee at an automobile tech corporation, and freelance designer for so many bands. It’s so sad that while we were together, with The Waynes and all, we always wanted to spread the love of culture through music and good works. What’s sad it’s never cool to say we love each other for what we are doing. That’s why jazz is abstract. That’s why there’s abstract art.

    Love of music with showman class technique! Derek Poindexter was often seen walking with his bass off the stage, out the door (radio antenna on bass guitar) down the icy sidewalk, and back to the stage without missing a beat or a sour flat note. This is what I remember.

    So many people in Cleveland were in love and impressed by Derek’s showmanship and artistry! Everybody loved Derek, when he took the stage!

  5. mark e kindler :

    what a great great man…….our prayers go out to the whole family

    mark and kim kindler

  6. Saam, Xavier and Waddell :

    with sincerest condolences to Danielle and Derek’s family. He touched so many lives and blessed so many with his smile and warmth.

    Peace, love and may the memories you hold in your hearts bring you comfort.

  7. David Peters :

    I am very sorry that Derek passed away. I send my condolences to the family. Derek was born while I was going to school with Darryl and Dwayne. Derek had a very productive life.

  8. Leonard Richardson Sr. :

    To The Family ,You have my condolences ..Derek was a special Brother. Always helpful,never selfish,Organized, always kept his cool.. Derek had a style of his own..Derek would enhance the lives of his friends with out a fuss, nor second though .. He was the Brother you look up to. Derek , I’m gonna miss you and the world will miss you.. leonard

  9. David Skinner :

    Hi Poindexter family,

    I wanted to come to his wake, but i didn’t know when it was and where. He taught me bass a couple of years ago and I also took a class that he taught (Music Business), and I really enjoyed it. I’m sorry for the loss. He will be greatly missed

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